The APES students designed and engineered their very own hydroponic garden this fall. The materials were purchased with the help of generous donors through the website DonorsChoose.org.
The class celebrated their first harvest the last day of class before break. There was plenty of Kale, Lettuce, Swiss chard and Arugula to make salads for everyone in the class. Ms. Clark brought in some local oil and vinegar from Brooklyn. The students experimented with several of the fresh hydroponically grown herbs to make their own original salad dressing recipes. Favorite flavor combinations included lemon with dill and vinegar with basil and thyme. It was a delicious, healthy and earth-friendly celebration!
All of these plants were grown from seeds in the classroom using the Kratky Method. The seeds are planted into a growth medium called rockwool and suspended above water. After the seedlings sprout, nutrients are added to the water to help the plants grow. The roots grow in the water. This method is a fast, sustainable and effective means of growing food because no soil is required and the plants never need to be watered. Urban landscapes can be used for developing food- it just requires a little engineering and creativity.